The National Football League (NFL) is a professional sports league for American football in the United States. It is one of the four major sports leagues in the United States (the others being MLB, NBA, and NHL, though it has never had a franchise in Canada).
The league would begin to supplant baseball as America's most popular spectator sport in 1958, when the then-NFL Championship Game between the then Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants was broadcast nationwide (though ironically not in New York City) and ended in a sudden-death overtime win by the Colts. As a result, several NFL franchises are among the most valuable in the world, even surpassing the European soccer clubs.
However, the league is not without controversy: teams routinely fleece taxpayers to build new stadiums then keep nearly all the revenue earned (even from non-football events such as major concerts), the league itself promotes gambling (via both fantasy football and sports betting), and players routinely suffer serious injuries (concussions being the most common) which have life-altering effects and, in some cases, have led to deaths (not only the players but innocent parties, the case of Aaron Hernandez among the most prominent).
The NFL was originally formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association and adopted its current name in 1922. Only two teams which were charter members of the league remain in operation today: the Chicago Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals) and the Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears). Then Staleys coach (and owner) George Halas is credited with being the father of the league and is compared to George Washington by many enthusiasts of the game.
During its existence it has merged with all or parts of three rival football leagues (unlike the NBA and NHL, the individual and team records of these franchises is recognized by the NFL):
- In 1937 the Cleveland Rams -- now the Los Angeles Rams -- switched from the American Football League (no relation to the 1960's league of the same name) to the NFL.
- In 1950 it absorbed three teams from the All-America Football Conference (the Cleveland Browns, the San Francisco 49ers, and a team called the Baltimore Colts which is not related to the current franchise called the Indianapolis Colts, that team folded within two seasons).
- In 1970 it merged with the American Football League, which began operations in 1960. As part of the merger agreement, beginning in 1967 it hosted a championship game between the leagues, which is now today's Super Bowl. Also, in order to equalize the number of teams between what would be the National Football Conference (comprised of NFL teams) and the American Football Conference (comprised of AFL teams), three NFL teams -- the Browns, the Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers -- were moved to the AFC.
Otherwise, the league has grown through expansions into new markets, which has proven tremendously successful: as an example it expanded into Dallas in 1960 with the Dallas Cowboys franchise, which is the league's most valuable and among the most valuable of all sports franchises worldwide. It is also very active in teams relocating to other markets (and sometimes returning, such as the Rams franchise moving from Cleveland to Los Angeles, then moving to St. Louis and then returning back to Los Angeles).
Arrangement and League Play
The league is composed of 32 professional football teams from the United States (of the four major professional sports leagues it is the only one not to have a team located in Canada, and in its long history never has), divided into two conferences (the American and the National), each of which have four, four-team divisions. Although the divisions have "directional" names (East, North, South, and West) they have little meaning geographically (for example, the NFC East is comprised of the New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington and Dallas, notwithstanding that Carolina is further east and geographically closer than Dallas to the other three teams) and much to do with rivalry and media (the aforementioned NFC East comprises four top-10 media markets, and all four teams have long-standing historic rivalries with each other; Dallas-Washington -- involving two of the world's most valuable sports franchises in any league -- being the most well-known).
|East Division||North Division||South Division||West Division||East Division||North Division||South Division||West Division|
Each team is permitted to have 55 players on its roster; however, only 48 may be active (eligible to play) on game day. Each team is also allowed 12 additional players on a "practice squad"; any team can sign a player from another team's practice squad to its main roster without compensating the other team.
The NFL does not operate a minor league system nor does it have working arrangements with any other football league (such as the Canadian Football League) for player development. A player may be drafted (or, if not drafted, sign as an undrafted free agent) once the player has been out of high school for three seasons. A player may declare himself eligible for the draft and is permitted a window whereby he can revoke his decision, except if the player has signed with a sports agent the decision is irrevocable.
Teams play 17 regular season games (eight at home and eight on the road with the 17th game alternating each year home and away) over 18 weeks, with each team receiving a "bye" week roughly in the middle of the season, comprised of:
- Six games in a home-and-home against the other three teams in its division (the final week of the season features only divisional matchups),
- Four teams against all the opponents of a inter-conference designated division (e.g. NFC vs. AFC) for that year (over an eight-year span every team in one conference will face every team in the other conference at least twice, once home and once away),
- Four teams against all the opponents of a intra-conference designated division (e.g. NFC vs. NFC and AFC vs. AFC) for that year (over a six-year span every team in a conference will face every other team in its conference at least twice, once home and once away),
- Two games against conference opponents of the non-designated divisions of the same conference for that year; the teams will be those which finished in the same place in the standings in their respective divisions (i.e. the first place team plays the other two first place teams, etc.), and
- A designated opponent from the other conference, which is not in that team's designated inter-conference division they would face during the season.
As an example, the Green Bay Packers finished first in the NFC North after the 2020 season. They therefore played the following teams during the 2021 season:
- Two games each, home and away, against Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota, their NFC North Division Rivals,
- All four teams from the AFC North (Baltimore Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, which is their designated inter-conference division for that year,
- All four teams from the NFC West (Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco and Seattle, which is their designated intra-conference division for that year,
- The other teams from the NFC (besides the West) which also finished first in their divisions in 2020: those teams were New Orleans (NFC South) and Washington (NFC East), and
- A designated AFC team not in the AFC North, which for 2021 was Kansas City.
The season generally begins on the Thursday after Labor Day and concludes the week after Christmas. Most games are played on Sunday, with one or more games played on Monday and on Thursday as well. Games are not played on Friday or Saturday during most of the season due to federal laws prohibiting NFL games competing with high school or college games; the league will play some Saturday games once the college football season ends and has very rarely played on Friday. It does not play games on Wednesday and did not on Tuesday, though in 2020 and 2021 some games were moved to Tuesday due to COVID-related issues involving one or both teams.
At season's end, seven teams from each conference (the winners of each division and three "wild-card" teams which are the teams in each conference with the best record among non-division winners), or 14 teams total, make the playoffs. The remaining 18 teams, in strict reverse order of finish, receive the first 18 picks in each of the seven rounds of the subsequent NFL Draft (the NFL does not use a "lottery" system like the NBA), which can be freely traded between teams subject to league rules (or, if a team is disciplined for conduct, can be forfeited). Teams are also awarded "compensatory" picks for players who sign as free agents with other teams; the picks are awarded at the end of rounds 3-6 depending on the salary paid to the former player. Also in an attempt to create "racial diversity" in the higher ranks of franchise management, teams who lose minority staff to other teams (as either head coaches or general managers) are awarded picks (third round, after free agent compensatory picks) for two consecutive years for one person, or three consecutive years for two or more persons.
The playoff teams are seeded in each conference as 1 (the division winner with the best record in the conference; that team gets a first-round bye and has home-field advantage through the conference championship), 2 through 4 (the next three division winners based on record; they will have home-field advantage against any lower-seeded opponent through the conference championship), and 5 through 7 (the three wild-card teams based on record; they will play their initial playoff games on the road, and would only host a playoff game against a lower-seeded wild-card team with the 7 seed not able to host any games). A division winner will always be seeded higher than a wild-card team even if the wild-card team has a better regular-season record.
The playoff consists of four rounds:
- The first round features the 2 through 4 division winners vs. the 5 through 7 wild-card teams, with the matchups being 2-7, 3-6, and 4-5.
- The second round features the winners from the first round and the 1 seed; the playoff matchups are based on the prior week's results with the 1 seed hosting the lowest-remaining seed and the highest-remaining seeded team hosting the second-lowest seeded team remaining (for example, if the 2, 4, and 6 seeds win, the matchups would be 1-6 and 2-4).
- The third round is the "conference championship", featuring each second round winner; the team with the highest seed hosts.
- The playoffs culminate in the NFL's championship game, the Super Bowl, featuring the winners from each conference. The Super Bowl is played at a pre-determined location: not until Super Bowl LV would a team play a Super Bowl game in its own stadium (the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium).
The league's "all-star game", the Pro Bowl, is played the week before the Super Bowl; as such, in order to avoid injuries which could affect the outcome of the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl players from the Super Bowl participating teams do not play in that game. The week before the Super Bowl is when regular season awards are announced, such as the league MVP and new entrants into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- See also: Unplug the NFL
In its televised form, the combination of uncertainty, patterns of multiple moving players, violence, and emotional gambling is highly addictive in some people, and has been described by many as demonic.
The NFL is a politically correct sports league that is subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of $1 billion per year, and is so heavily influenced by the liberal media that Christian players are typically not even allowed to express their faith. The league relies heavily on emotional gambling and monetary gambling, as well as violence, for its popularity among television viewers. Due to its dependence on the pro-gay media, the NFL typically promotes the homosexual agenda. While fining its players for doing various acts of self-expression, including patriotic and pro-police acts, the NFL does not fine players for dishonoring the United States, our flag, and our anthem.
Poor cities are routinely looted by NFL owners under threat of moving the team to another location, which leaves the cities with huge bills to pay on empty stadiums. Minneapolis taxpayers had to pony up $500 million in 2012 to prevent the Vikings from moving to L.A., and $350 million in taxpayer funding was not enough for St. Louis to keep the Rams (and taxpayers are also paying to sue the Rams for leaving; ultimately a partial settlement was reached on behalf of the taxpayers). The city of Pontiac, Michigan, has had to sue to seek repairs of safety and zoning violations at the abandoned Pontiac Stadium, which hosted the Super Bowl in 1982.
|NFL-related activity||Amount in Revenue|
|Fantasy football (gambling)||$11 billion per year|
|Televised games and team sales||$10 billion per year|
|Taxpayer subsidies||$1 billion per year|
No other sports league bilks the taxpayers as much as the NFL does, as nearly every current stadium was built using millions of dollars in taxpayer funding. "Taxpayers have spent nearly $3 billion on the 16 stadiums that" hosted the NFL games that opened the 2015 season. "Field of Schemes" is a website that exposes many of these ripoffs of the public by the NFL, such as how the Democrat governor of Missouri was "proposing to hand $400 million to [the] Rams owner," including $100 million to pay off the debt on the last stadium that was built for the team.
As an NFL game ends and fans begin leaving the stadium, it is best to avoid the nearby roads. One study showed that the average fan at many NFL games has a blood-alcohol level higher than safe level for driving as recommended by the NTSB.
The NFL was recently listed as one of numerous leftist-controlled companies that have gone "woke" and now support the criminal rioters of Antifa and Black Lives Matter in the wake of the 2020 leftist riots.
- Other teams currently in the league operated prior to 1920, either as independent clubs or in rival leagues. As an example, the Green Bay Packers, considered one of the NFL's historic franchises, was not a charter member; it formed in 1919 and played its first two seasons as an independent club before joining the league in 1921.
- Nolte, John (September 25, 2017). The NFL Hates America: 9 Pieces of Proof. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
- Here Are The Companies That Support Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and Want You Dead at Gab.com